Bohannon chosen to fill vacant school board seat

Alex Bohannon

Bohannon chosen to fill vacant school board seat
January 27
13:49 2021

Alex Bohannon has been chosen to fill the vacant seat on the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools Board of Education.

Bohannon, a native of Winston-Salem and product of the local school system, was one of eight candidates who applied for the vacant District 1 seat left open by Barbara Burke, who was elected to serve on the Winston-Salem City Council. Other candidates included Chenita Barber Johnson, Amaris Carr, Staci Denton, Robert Durrah, and Morticia “Tee-Tee” Parmon. Two applicants were not considered for the vacancy because they don’t live in District 1. 

The number of candidates was narrowed to three ahead of the meeting on Tuesday night, Bohannon, Parmon and Carr, but before long it became clear that it would come down to Bohannon and Parmon. Before voting, board members had the opportunity to openly discuss their choice for the seat.

Board Chair Malishai Woodbury, who is a Democrat and the only other representative for District 1 on the board, said Parmon would be the best candidate to fill the seat. She said Parmon is a champion for the community who has shown commitment to working across party lines. Parmon filled the vacancy on the council as representative for the Northeast Ward after the death of Councilmember Vivian Burke last year. 

Woodbury also discussed Parmon’s efforts to help establish learning centers throughout the community and other work to uplift communities in need. “I truly believe Morticia Parmon could serve on this board, work with every last member in a cooperative, fair-minded way, and I ask that this board consider my advocacy as a District 1 representative, as someone who lives in District 1,” she said. 

Elisabeth Motsinger, who is also a Democrat and the longest serving member on the board, said her vote was for Bohannon. She said Bohannon has shown just as much commitment to the district over the years as some board members and that he would bring a younger voice to the board. 

She also mentioned Bohannon had gained the support of longtime board member Victor Johnson, who died last week and supported Bohannan when he ran for the District 1 seat in 2018. Johnson served on the board for more than 20 years. 

“Mr. Johnson was an avid and strong supporter of Mr. Bohannon,” Motsinger continued. “Alex will bring our board a younger voice, a male voice. He would be a good model for our young boys … and I with whole heart and absolute support would hope that the board would elect Alex Bohannon to serve with us tonight.” 

Although Woodbury’s motion for Parmon did gain some support from the board, in the end Bohannon was chosen to fill the seat. 

Bohannon is a 2017 graduate of Elon University. He currently works as a diversity compliance specialist for the City of Winston-Salem. He unsuccessfully ran for the District 1 seat on the school board in 2018. He finished with 17% of the vote, which was good enough for third behind Burke and Woodbury. 

When he was asked about his plans if elected to the board during his campaign, Bohannon said the first order of business would be “to focus intensely on diversity, equity, and inclusion.”

 “A lot of times diversity isn’t just about race and ethnicity, it also includes ability, gender and all these other identities,” Bohannon continued. “With the ability piece, we have to ensure students who learn differently from the majority have as much opportunity to be successful as other children.”

Bohannon is expected to be sworn in during the board work session on Feb. 9.

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Tevin Stinson

Tevin Stinson

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